Questions, both critical and vexing, about the role and impact of technology on our society, the church, and on Sojourners itself have arisen among our staff and board. They are questions with immediate practical import, but also broader implication. How do we think biblically, theologically, and critically about technology?
What indeed is the connection between Web technology and social movement? What are the possibilities? The seductions and traps? Can it create community and commitment or does it eviscerate, virtualize, minimize, and disembody them? How does it create new communities of discourse, bringing marginalized voices to the table, and how does it further widen the gap between the accessed haves and have-nots? Should we be resisting certain technologies? Creating alternatives? Generating social capital and movement outside their framework?
Sojourners executive editor David Batstone is a professor at the University of San Francisco, founder of Business 2.0 magazine, and is actively engaged at the intersection of technology, business, and ethics. Bill Wylie-Kellermann, a Sojourners contributing editor, is a United Methodist pastor and director of SCUPE (Seminary Consortium for Urban Pastoral Education), one of the country's foremost expositors of "powers" theology, and the editor of Keeper of the Word (a compilation of writings by William Stringfellow). The two of them began this conversation at a meeting of the Sojourners board of directors, then continued it via e-mail in the exchanges that follow.